Tuesday, August 20, 2013

15 Minute Challenge - Broken Beauty Sleep

For some unknown reason I've been waking up at 3:30 AM and can't go back to sleep.  That's been happening a few mornings for the last few months.  This was one of those mornings.  After 30 minutes of tossing and turning, I just got up.  It's handy that this month's fostering creativity topic is "get a good night's sleep" because I felt better about spending some time doing a bit of research to fill in my "extra" coffee time this morning.  According to Harvard Medical School, what I have is sleep maintenance  insomnia. Basically this type of insomnia means you go to sleep just fine, but you can't stay asleep.  Turns out this form of insomnia is more common in women then in men, especially during "mid-life".  It is often associated with depression, stress and hot flashes.  Probably 90% of that age group are dealing with one of the three.  So I'm in good company it seems.  

Unfortunately according to the Harvard article, there's no magical treatment for this type of insomnia.  Certain medications can cause it, but typically it's more complicated than that.  The site offered some "sleep hygiene" tips.

1.  Stay away from coffee, tea, sodas after 1 to 2 PM
2.  Stay away from alcohol. 
3.  Don't smoke
4.  Don't nap more than 15 to 20 minutes if you need one and don't do it in the evening before bed.
5.  Get regular exercise
6.  Set a sleep schedule
7.  Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary. Keep it cool, dark, and quiet
8.  Eat dinner several hours before bedtime.  If you have a late evening snack keep it light.
9.  Establish a relaxing evening routine.
10.  Limit fluids before bedtime.  Don't drink anything the 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.  

Most of this is common sense, but with busy schedules some of this is hard to do every night.  By the time I picked Drama Teen up from volleyball practice and got home there was just enough time to head over to the school for parents night.  It was after 8 PM by the time I got home to a very late supper and then bed. So no stitching last night.  But it I did pretty well last week anyway. 

I managed to find at least 15 minutes to sew 5 out of the last 7 days. It shows too as I've made a lot of progress on Mon Ami.  Probably not much sewing tonight as Drama Teen has a home volleyball game and I'm working concessions for most of the evening.  But the rest of the week looks clear.  So I have hope.  

So how did your week go?  Did you find some time to stitch?  

1. Pat

2. Julie in GA

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Pat said...

I had a night like that earlier this week. My mind just wouldn't stop mulling over some issues. I ended up watching tv for about an hour until I was settled enough to go back to sleep.

Shay said...

5 from 7 is a good result since your body seems to be setting it's own clock.

Im going through another period of disturbed sleep too...Im waking around 4 am some nights and then falling asleep incredibly early (8 or 9 pm) Yesterday I slept 5 pm -11 pm..that wasn't fun at all since I didnt go back to sleep until well after 2 am.

I have a friend who is asleep expert and with your issue I'd try delaying bedtime for an extra 30 minutes to half hour at night and seeing if that helps you sleep a bit longer.

libbyquilter said...

i hope that you are able to figure out a trick to getting clear through the night. it definitely makes life difficult when our bodies/brains are uncooperative.
i know that life with a teenager can keep things pretty crazy as far as keeping a schedule goes. i remember clearly many late nights and long weekends.

hang in there.


AnnieO said...

I wake up frequently at 4 a.m. feeling hot and then play "sheet/blanket" for about half an hour, but usually can get back to some broken sleep until my wake up time of 5:30. It isn't enjoyable but it's what's happening right now! Your research is interesting. I think those are good tips for just about anyone. Good for you for getting in and stitching so many nights a week.

Lynne said...

I always have a drink of water just before bed! I wonder if I should stop doing that? Thanks for this very interesting series.

thea said...

No sewing for me the past week, but i promise I'll find my sewing machine and do some soon... I have trouble with sleep on both ends ..